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An exploration of the construct validity of Durrell Visual memory of words, intermediate Booth, Janice Ann

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to explore the construct validity of the Durrell subtest Visual Memory of Words: Intermediate. The study was designed to investigate whether the Durrell Visual Memory of Words: Intermediate measures visual memory, as it is purported or includes a measure of an auditory-visual integration process in short-term memory. The study was conducted in four stages: Stage One described the paradigm for the study and identified tests to represent the constructs, of auditory memory, visual memory and auditory-visual integration. Stage Two of the study required administering two tests of auditory discrimination and three tests of auditory-visual integration, individually to 60 grade four students. The sample was stratified by age, gender and reading level. The results of Stage Two led to the development of a new paradigm for the study and the retention of two measures of auditory-visual integration for use in further exploratory studies. In Stage Three of the study two tests each of auditory memory, visual memory and auditory-visual integration were administered to 22 grade four students, controlling for test order effect. The same six tests were given to 120 grade five students during Stage Four of the study. The data were subjected to test, item and multiple regression analysis. Results of the test and item analysis indicated the California Phonics-Visua1 and the: G-F-W Auditory Memory were too easy for the grade five age students. Multiple regression analysis of the data revealed 55 percent of the variance of the Durrell Visual Memory of Words; Intermediate was accounted for by general reading ability plus tests of auditory memory, visual memory and auditory-visual integration. It was concluded that there was sufficient evidence from the exploratory study to raise the question of whether the Durrell Visual Memory of Words: Intermediate, does in fact contain a measure of auditory-visual integration. Some implications and suggestions for further research were stated.

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